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Indicator 3: Prevalence of Victimization at School
(Last Updated: May 2017)

In 2015, approximately 3 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months. About 2 percent of students reported theft, 1 percent reported violent victimization, and less than one-half of 1 percent reported serious violent victimization. Between 1995 and 2015, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized at school decreased overall, as did the percentages of students who reported theft, violent victimization, and serious violent victimization.

The School Crime Supplement (SCS)31 to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) allows for the comparison of victimization rate data across student demographic characteristics (e.g., grade, sex, and race/ethnicity). Results from the most recent data collection show that in 2015 approximately 3 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being victimized at school32 during the previous 6 months (figure 3.1 and table 3.1). About 2 percent of students reported theft,33 1 percent reported violent victimization,34 and less than one-half of 1 percent reported serious violent victimization.35


Figure 3.1. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by type of victimization: Selected years, 1995 through 2015

Figure 3.1. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by type of victimization: Selected years, 1995 through 2015

1 Serious violent victimization is also included in violent victimization.
NOTE: "Total victimization" includes theft and violent victimization. "Theft" includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. Theft does not include robbery, which involves the threat or use of force and is classified as a violent crime. "Serious violent victimization" includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. "Violent victimization" includes the serious violent crimes as well as simple assault. "At school" includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and, from 2001 onward, going to and from school. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and because students who reported both theft and violent victimization are counted only once in total victimization. Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 1995 through 2015.


In 2015, the percentage of students who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months was higher for 6th-, 7th-, and 9th-graders (3 percent each) as well as for 11th-graders (4 percent) than for 12th‑graders (1 percent; figure 3.2 and table 3.1). Also, a higher percentage of 7th- and 11th-graders reported being victimized at school than of 10th‑graders (2 percent). The percentage of students who reported theft was higher for 11th‑graders (3 percent) than for 10th- and 12th‑graders (1 percent each). In addition, the percentage of students who reported violent victimization was higher for 7th‑graders (2 percent) than for 8th-graders (1 percent). No measurable differences were observed by sex or race/ethnicity in reports of victimization overall or in reports of specific types of victimization. Among students ages 12–18 in 2015, the percentage reporting being victimized at school during the previous 6 months was higher for students from urban and suburban areas (3 percent each) than for students from rural areas (2 percent).


Figure 3.2. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by selected student and school characteristics: 1995 and 2015

Figure 3.2. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by selected student and school characteristics: 1995 and 2015

! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡ Reporting standards not met. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is 50 percent or greater.
1 Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Separate data for Asians were not collected in 1995; therefore, data for this group are not shown.
2 Refers to the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) status of the respondent's household as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Categories include "central city of an MSA (Urban)," "in MSA but not in central city (Suburban)," and "not MSA (Rural)."
NOTE: "Total victimization" includes theft and violent victimization. "At school" includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and, from 2001 onward, going to and from school. Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 1995 and 2015.


Between 1995 and 2015, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months decreased overall (from 10 to 3 percent), as did the percentages of students who reported theft (from 7 to 2 percent), violent victimization (from 3 to 1 percent), and serious violent victimization (from 1 percent to less than one-half of 1 percent). The percentage of students who reported being victimized at school decreased between 1995 and 2015 for both male (from 10 to 3 percent) and female students (from 9 to 3 percent), as well as for White (from 10 to 3 percent), Black (from 10 to 2 percent), and Hispanic students (from 8 to 2 percent). In addition, the percentages of students who reported being victimized decreased between 1995 and 2015 for all grades 6 through 12.

A decrease between 1995 and 2015 in the percentage of students reporting being victimized also occurred across school characteristics. About 9 percent of students from urban areas, 10 percent of students from suburban areas, and 8 percent of students from rural areas reported being victimized at school in 1995, compared with 3 percent each of students from urban and suburban areas and 2 percent of students from rural areas in 2015. About 10 percent of public school students reported being victimized at school in 1995; the percentage decreased to 3 percent of public school students in 2015.


This indicator repeats information from the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016 report. For more information: Table 3.1, and https://nces.ed.gov/programs/crime/.


31 Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS. Thus, the calculation of estimates presented here is based on a subset of the student sample used to calculate the estimates presented in Indicator 2.
32 "At school" includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and, from 2001 onward, going to and from school.
33 "Theft" includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. Theft does not include robbery, which involves the threat or use of force and is classified as a violent crime.
34 "Violent victimization" includes serious violent crimes and simple assault.
35 "Serious violent victimization" includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.